You know I can’t post too many healthy recipes in a row. As in one is enough. So here’s a summertime dessert recipe that will dazzle even the pickiest of guests. I know this personally, because one member of my family is extremely picky, but will eat this until the cows come home. Because honestly, who can resist a lemon-spiked, super-moist, not-too-sweet slice of cake soaked in a sauce of fresh summer berries with lightly whipped cream?
I can’t, and I haven’t meant anyone else yet who can (please apply within). And while pound cake is as old as cake itself, this recipe is one we served at Escoffier Restaurant as part of our table side flambées dessert. I figure if guests are willing to pay money for it, it must be pretty tasty.
Without having to set any booze on fire, you can easily add deliciousness to any cake by heating fresh berries in a little butter. The whipped cream is just a nice touch, but it never hurt anything either, except maybe waistlines.
For me the real kicker with this cake is you can bake it off as a loaf or a couple of rounds or as cupcakes, and freeze what you can’t eat the first time out. If there is such a thing…
- 1 cup, 2 Tbs cake flour (1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons)
- ¼ cup cornstarch (1.25 ounces)
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 stick butter, unsalted, softened (4 ounces)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (6 ounces)
- 1 lemon, zested & juiced, optional
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- Fresh berries,¼ cup per slice
- Butter, 2 tablespoons per slice or serving
- Sift together first four ingredients. Preheat oven to 375° F, and grease cake pans if using.
- In a stand mixer with a paddle or a hand mixer, beat butter, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice on medium speed until smooth and light in color. Scrape down sides of bowl and paddle.
- Beat in vanilla then eggs one at a time, then scrape bowl again. On low speed, add dry ingredients a little at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once.
- Portion batter evenly into twelve cupcake liners in a standard muffin pan, or smooth into a greased loaf or round cake pan.
- Bake at 375° F for 20 to 22 minutes for cupcakes, or until top of cake springs back to light pressure, 30 to 50 minutes depending on pan size. You can also use the toothpick test (comes out clean). Cool on a rack, and store in an airtight container.
For berry compote, dice strawberries or any larger fruit, if using. Heat butter over medium-high heat in a sauté pan. Add all fruit and heat until warm. If desired, add a small splash of liqueur and bring to a quick boil, Grand Marnier or Saint Germain recommended.
For whipped cream, beat half of a cup of heavy cream with two tablespoons of sugar until it is thick enough to hold shape but not quite stiff (referred to as medium peaks).